The Gothic Church of Our Lady on the Lawn is quite a small Gothic building which was built beside the monastery of Servites. The church was founded 24 March 1360 by Charles IV. and was built between 1360 and 1375.
During the Hussite period the monastery was robbed by Prague´s citizens in 1420 and probably also burnt down. The nave was newly vaulted in the late-Gothic period (probably from 1436 to 1480). The Servites probably returned to the monastery shortly after the ending of Hussite Wars which is obvious from documented financial gift to the monastery in 1439. The repair of the church took place after 1480. It was mostly financed by financial support of various donors. Through the numerous donations the monastery was very poor and around 1480 the monks left it. Then monastery passed to the royal holding.
The unstable period around the year 1648 did not allowed bigger construction works in monastery. The reparation took place several years later during the 1760s. Seventeen monks lived in the monastery in 1710. The reconstruction of the buildings finished in 1726. The Servites´s highlighting period was on the beginning of the 18th century. The amount of supporters and donors was growing. The monastery bought near so called Dlouhoveský house with chapel in 1707, which the monastery afterwards sold to establish the convent of Alžbětinky.
The monastery was seriously damaged by the bombs during the Seven Year´ War in 1757. The Servite order was cancelled in 1786. The Church of Our Lady on the Lawn was secularized in 1783. The monastery became an artillery barrack in the years 1785 – 1792, then it was a lodging house and then it became a military educational institute in the years 1822-1850. The monastery was enlarged and rebuilt in 1856 in order to place there the institute of mentally ill. The church was sanctified again in 1856.
The church was filled with baroque furniture during the 18th century and it received new altar in 1732. After cancelling the Servites Order in Prague and unhollying the church its artistic inventor had been spread. The monastery has received some paintings and sculptures, four of them we can still see in their church. We can see a copy of Florentine painting Annunciation Virgin Mary in the monastery.
The equipment in the church comes from the period of the architect Bernard Grueber and it is mostly in the pseudo-gothic style. There is a painting of Annunciation Virgin Mary on the main altar from 1857 by Leopold Kupelwieser. There are two side altars on the sides of victory arch, the altar of Saint Anna on the south wall and the altar of Saint Joseph on the north wall. The organs and holly water font are from Grueber´s workshop.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.